mental health

Office of the Attorney General

The attorney general’s office announced that a new task force will focus on preventing youth suicide in Kansas.

A recent report from the State Child Death Review Board found that average suicide rates for Kansan minors more than doubled between 2005 and 2015.

A quarter of Kansas working-age adults and a third of the state’s children live in households dealing with medical debt.

That’s one of the takeaways from a new report commissioned by five Kansas and Missouri health foundations, believed to be the largest survey to date of health consumers in the two states.

In Kansas, about 2,600 adults and minors were included. The survey answers point to problems with access to dental and mental health care, among other services.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

Jim Persinger tells the story with a little frustration.

A school administrator saw school psychologists — his field — as interchangeable with counselors and social workers.

Betty Lee/Ars Electronica / flickr

Kansas legislators have approved a pilot program to team up schools and community mental health centers to treat some of the state's most at-risk children.

The plan was proposed in the House and was folded into a bill that legislators approved early Sunday to increase spending on public schools.

It calls for setting aside $10 million to treat and track two pre-selected groups of children in six districts across the state.

Madeline Fox / Kansas News Service

Troubles in the Kansas foster care system might stem in large part from a shortage of places that can help children in psychiatric crisis, say some lawmakers and child advocate groups.

Since 2013, the number of psychiatric residential treatment facilities in Kansas has dropped from 11 to eight, with 222 fewer available beds.

Sedgwick County

Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter is asking state lawmakers to consider adding regional mental health facilities to improve access to treatment and speed up the evaluation process.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas sheriffs are asking lawmakers for help in dealing with mental health issues affecting counties statewide.

Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter, representing the Kansas Sheriffs' Association, provided a snapshot of the situation at a workshop in Topeka this week.

Madeline Fox / Kansas News Service

Today, when mentally ill Kansans land in a psychiatric hospital or behind bars, they lose Medicaid coverage. When they’re freed, the daunting chore of signing up for government health coverage starts from scratch.

Now, a push gaining steam among state lawmakers would merely pause that coverage, keeping care and critical medications ready for mental health patients when they get out.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File Photo

Gov. Sam Brownback wants to add hundreds of new counselors to public schools in Kansas over the next five years, if those counselors can be found.

Neil Conway, flickr Creative Commons

When Kansans on Medicaid are incarcerated or treated at residential mental health facilities, their Medicaid benefits are terminated. Mental health advocates hope to change that during the upcoming legislative session by pushing for a bill that would instead suspend those benefits.

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